I had planned on getting an early start today. My schedule at work had me working from 5:45 this morning until 2:45 this afternoon. By 4:00, I should have been here at home, manuscript beside me while I imputed the corrections into my laptop. My plans never seem to pan out. Damn you!

I ended up working a few hours late, having dinner with a friend, and not getting home until 8:00. Still plenty of time to get some work in on my writing, but instead I zoned out a bit, the exhaustion from a long day forcing me to shut my eyes for a bit. I don’t work tomorrow, so I’m planning on staying up a little longer and getting some editing done. I also plan on hitting it hard tomorrow. I wonder if my plan will happen.

I’m not complaining about my day. It was worth it, but today made me think about my future. Actually, I’ve been thinking about it off and on for the past several days. I’ll be 39 years old next week. I have lets say 25 to 30 years left of a working career. Do I want to be where I am no for the next 30 years? Is retail the place I want to be?

The answer is a resounding no. I don’t like what I’m doing. There’s no job security, no job satisfaction. I’m tearing my body down for an impersonal corporation that doesn’t care about me. It’s only concern is to make money for itself, and for its shareholders. Though I do believe in a free market society, I have to be frank and say that my needs are not being met.

Which brings me to consider what my needs are. My basic needs are being met. What I’m missing, and what I want and need the most is my independence. That need requires a certain level of financial security, which I don’t have. More than that, what I really need is something that fulfills me. I may need a job to pay the bills, but what of me? What do I need of my life to truly live?

Love and family? Yes. A career I enjoy? Certainly. The ability to travel and learn? Absolutely! The one thing I want out of life is to communicate my thoughts. Life is too short. I want to make an impression on the world, that though life is frail and it must end, there are things about me that mattered. I want to know that I had a positive impact on someone’s life.

So I write. That is what I need to live. I read and I learn so that I can turn around and put into words the thoughts and emotions that I have. I have things to say and I want to do the best I can to say them in a thought-provoking manner. I don’t want to die without saying what I need to say. I want to live on.

I didn’t mean to go so dark. There is no impending death on the horizon, or at least I hope not! I’m looking to the future and I can see myself stuck doing what I’m doing now. That’s easy to see. It’s what I fear the most. What I can’t see is the path obscured by doubt and the unknown. It scares me, but it calls to me because that’s the path that leads to immortality.

What will that take? It’ll take a level of dedication to my dream that will test the limits of my endurance. I’ll have to sacrifice and struggle to go where I want to go. I have to be free to fail, and failure is a familiar foe. I also have to be willing to find any measure of success.

As I continue to work on my writing, that’s the thought that motivates and tortures me. I have to stop dreaming the dream. It’s time to start realizing that same dream with my labor. I’ve already started down that path. Starting is not the issue. What trips me up is pushing myself until I reach the goal line. Starting is easy. I’m just unsure how to find the end. I could use a mentor and a coach in my life to help me along.


Recharged and looking forward

I haven’t been updating as frequently as I should. I’m sorry about that. It’s just that I haven’t had much going on as of late. I didn’t feel like repeating myself. My posts were becoming redundant. I felt that taking some time away was the right thing to do.

So now I’m back, feeling recharged, and raring to go. My vacation was relaxing, though too short. I’m back at work now, and even there I’m wondering if there’s a change in my future. I wish I could elaborate, but I’m not sure what it is. It’s just a general sense that change is on the horizon. Maybe it’s a move up, a lateral more, or me deciding to move on, but something is coming.

On that note, I’ve been thinking a bit about my own future. I’ve talked some about how money has never been my prime motivator. It still isn’t, but I’m coming to a point in my life where I need a relatively massive influx of money. I’ll be 39 next month. I want a house, a car, in short, I want my life back on track.

Career-wise, I feel as though I have stalled. I’m comfortable in that I know what I’m doing, and I know my co-workers and feel comfortable around them. Comfort is not enough. I look at my work-in-progress, and I realize that what I want to do is write and maybe make enough to fund my life. I don’t believe I’ll become wealthy, but I would like to make enough to perhaps go back to college.

Retail is a game of numbers, and I don’t have that desire. Again, money is not a motivator. I don’t have a head for business, and though I’m good at what I do, there’s also a lot of things that I fail at, namely customer and co-worker interaction, playing the office-political game, and just doing what I’m told vs. what I think needs to be done. I forget that I’m not free to do my own thing. My manager, as agent of the company I work for, dictates what I do. I hate that.

I’m not clear on what I should do, only that I should do something new. There’s a part of me that yearns for an adventure, a new direction in my life. I have no one in my life, no anchor, nothing to hold me back. There are experiences I want to have. I just need to be bold enough to find them.

Which has always been problematic for me. I’m not what you might consider a go-getter. I’m content, for the most part, to remain at home and chill. I don’t usually need a lot of excitement. I’m best when I have few distractions. I hate being overwhelmed by the world at large. It’s the great paradox of my existence.

I hope to have this figured out soon. I’m ready for a change. I’m also ready to buckle down and get back to writing.

Camp NaNo is about to begin

2014-Participant-Twitter-Header-2Camp NaNoWriMo opens up in about 12 hours and I’ll admit to feeling some apprehension. I’m not going to pretend that apprehension is a bad thing. No, I believe it will be a good motivator to prove to myself that I can still do some significant writing. I really hate to fail.

I started participating back in November of 2011 and I killed it. I’ve participated every year since then, and I’ve won every time, if for no other reason than to say I did. I haven’t been as fortunate with Camp NaNo. I’ve tried only a couple of times, failing miserably with my goals. This time around, I have set a modest goal of ten-thousand words. That’s doable, right?

I think it is. If I can’t even do that, how can I claim to be a writer? I know I can do 50-60K in a month, so I’m certain I’ll surpass my goal. I’m not planning on writing a novel, but we will see as we go along. I’m looking at a short story about a woman whose cheating husband is facing death, and her prospects for true love after two decades of neglect.

I have things to say about fidelity and faithlessness, of betrayals and pain, but mostly of reconciling one’s self with the past. I hope to talk about forgiving the unfaithful partner as well as forgiving yourself.

It’s probably too ambitious for a short story, but I’m not dead set on keeping it so short. It’ll be as long as it needs to be to fulfill my objective, thought I don’t see it going past 25K. Again, we will see how it goes.\

That’s enough out of me for now. I’ll let you know how it goes. For those of you who are joining me, good luck! See you on the other side!


Camp Nano – 2 days until it begins

I didn’t mean to do it, but I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. Great plan! I don’t have a computer yet, so let’s sign up to write something. Brilliant! Fantastic! What the hell am I thinking!!!!!

Okay, it’s not really that bad. My goal is a very modest 10K words, a short story that has been brewing in my mind for several months. I want to write it down and get it out of my head. Really, it’s a simple exercise to get my brain focused on writing again. I’ve let my dream fall to the wayside this year. Shame on me.

I need a writing goal to motivate me again, something before the main event in November. I haven’t mentioned it in a long time, but I would like to be back in the DFW area by the time November hits. That’s been my goal every year since I came back to my hometown almost 2 years ago. I’ve accomplished a life goal in earing my degree, and I’m about done on my most recent personal goal. I think it’s time to look towards the future and make plans to get on with my life.

Which is a scary thing, if you ask me. Things in my life aren’t great, but they are stable. I desire a stable life, but not like this. I want more out of my life, and the only way to earn it is to upset my stability for the hope of something better. It’ll be a calculated risk, but one we all have to do on occasion to grow and to progress in life.

My truck is almost done. It’s insured now, and I lack a few minor repairs before I take it to get inspected. I should start working on my resume and begin to actively look for jobs again. I had considered going back to school to get my teaching certificate, but the longer I thought about it, the more I became convinced teaching  would be a mistake, at least for me.

So I’m a man with a degree and not much else, trying to find his way through life. Looking at my successes and my failures, the business world is not a good fit for me, but I have to ask, what is? Is writing my future? I’m not convinced I really have a talent for writing.

Nevertheless, my short-term goal is to write a short story next month, and to polish my resume. By the end of the year, I want to have a real job, my own place where I can live, and write, in peace. I don’t know what will happen, but I think it’s time to get my life back on track.

I guess only time will tell…

Life balance

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My grand plans for taking time to write took a back seat to going out to the driving range. I had fun, though I still had to do some work prior to having fun. My project to clean up a ’93 Chevy pick-up is taking up a lot of my time, though where we are at now, my brother is doing the bulk of the work. I’m no good with body work, and he is. It’s been a slow and tedious task, but I think the end result will be awesome.

More than the truck, we had to unload some housing materials from a trailer, which may not have taken too much time at around an hour and a half, but the 4×4’s and siding material we had to move were not light. At the end of the day, after doing some work on the truck, and moving materials around, I felt great. Physical labor is good for the soul, and as a reward, me and my brothers headed to the driving range to hit some golf balls.

First I should tell you about my golfing skills: I have none. My ex-wife’s father took me golfing a couple of times, as did her grandfather. I had fun, but that was almost nine years ago. Crap, I can’t believe it’s been that long. Wow! Considering her grandfather stopped golfing around four or five years ago, that’s how long it’s been since I’ve been out. To put it succinctly, I sucked. It was rather embarrassing, and I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t laugh. It’s okay if you do, I did.

I did manage a few impressive drives, but nothing spectacular. My longest was around 150 yds, which isn’t very impressive, but compared to the others which only went a few feet, then yeah, very impressive indeed. I may not be very good, but at least I went out there willing to look like a fool, and it was good exercise. I hope to go out again soon.

So once again I let life get in the way of some quality writing time, though I’m not complaining. I spent almost three years not living by hiding behind the keyboard as I mourned the state of my life. Even if things are not as great as I would like it to be, I can’t hide behind that fact, bemoaning that my the women who did me wrong so long ago are doing better than me, especially since I have no clue as to how they’re doing. They don’t even factor into the equation anymore, nor will they again.

That’s life, and I’m living it in my fashion. I haven’t given up writing, just putting it into perspective in respect to my life. If I could, I would love to make it my number one priority, but until it pays the bills it remains a hobby and a dream. I just have to remember how important this dream is so that I don’t lose sight of my goals.

I plan to stay up a little longer so that I can get some writing done. I have a few problems to figure out as to how I will resolve the story. It’s moving in the right direction and I mustn’t lose that focus. It’s all about balance between the two opposing forces in the story, just as it’s about balance between life as it is and life as I would like it to be.

To write is my dream and my passion, but not at the cost of having fun, nor should fun come at the cost of my writing. I’m trying to find my equilibrium again, and as I teeter back and forth trying to find that balance, I’ll occasionally miss the mark, but again that too is a part of life. It’s just the price of being alive.